way to go, Fred Meyer

Good morning,

I wanted to let you that your decision to block customers from claiming their own reusable bag refunds at the self-checkout is one of the most short-sighted and wasteful things I have seen in some time.

So where once anyone could simply claim a refund by keying 1075 on the number pad and weighing the bags, we are now expected to get the attendant (who is generally busy with more complex customer problems) to do the same thing for us.

Reusable bags save your stores money, allow customers feel like they are making a difference, and are generally a good idea. But someone decided that we can’t be trusted and are somehow going to exploit this for all the nickels we can get.

A much easier solution would to simply cap the number of bags any one customer can claim at a reasonable number, like 5. Someone may take you for 10¢ when they claim 5 and use 3, but consider the union wages you are paying to monitor that as well the customer goodwill you’re squandering, and ask yourself if it’s worth it.

[From Fred Meyer: Customer Comments]

Well, as it turns out, it’s not an abuse of the bag refund that is the issue. Apparently, it’s abuse of the self-checkout system itself. I’m not sufficiently criminally-minded but evidently what has happened is patrons will weigh items with their bags in the refund process, meaning they get a 5¢ refund and the item(s) free. Add to that more mundane abuses — buying item A while paying for lookalike but lower-priced item B, keeping items off the scale so they are never counted as unpaid for — and it demonstrates how people will take advantage of anything they can, anyway they can.

This was why they had the public stocks back in the day.

quote of the day

like it


[From Sane Design]



if you give people power, they will use it

I got some weird email acknowledging my unsubscription from my local FreeCycle group. Wha? I enquired what this was about, and got this reply:

Today you posted to the entire group a personal aside/request, violating the most basic rule that nothing but OFFERs/WANTEDs/TAKENs/RECEIVEDs can be posted by members. You have been a long-time member and of course know this rule.

We are extraordinarily serious when it comes to keeping “discussions” out of the FreecycleSeattle group – with 15,000 members this is simply not a place we can go, nor is it a thing 99% of our members want to see. Numerous places in the FAQ and the group rules point out that you need to email the moderators with concerns, not the whole group. You chose to ignore these rules.

You have two choices at this point:

A) recognize your mistake, don’t argue about it, read the group FAQ again. If you choose this option, feel free rejoin the group after five (5) days have past, with the understanding that you will abide by the group’s policies and rules in the future.


B) argue about this, waste our time defending your yourself, and/or rejoin the group under your original id (or an alias) before five (5) days have past. If you choose this
option, you will be immediately be banned from the group for at least one (1) full year.

Your call. We’re very serious about this.

Well, then. What’s that about? No copy of the offending message, no trace of in the list archives or in the email from the list.

Either this message was a figment of someone’s imagination or all posts are being moderated. What do the FreeCycle rules say about that?


And what else?


[From FC Moderators Manual – Do’s and Don’ts for Freecycleâ„¢ Moderators .]